Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons licenses provide a standard way for content creators to grant someone else permission to use their work. YouTube allows users to mark their videos with a Creative Commons CC BY license [attribution - reuse allowed]. These videos are then accessible to YouTube users for use in their own videos via the YouTube Video Editor. Attribution is automatic under the CC BY license, meaning that any video you create using Creative Commons content will automatically show the source videos' titles underneath the video player. You retain your copyright and other users get to reuse your work subject to the terms of the license.

For more information on the CC BY license—a summary of the full Legal Code with the full license accessible at the bottom of the page—please visit this page on

How to mark your video as Creative Commons

  1. Click the radio button next to "Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)" while uploading
    Screen shot of upload options
    Once you mark your video as Creative Commons, you will see updated license information in that video's description on the watch page.
    Screen shot of watch page options
  2. Or, go to My Videos, select edit next to the video you wish to include in Creative Commons. Scroll down until you reach License under Broadcasting and Sharing Options. Click the radio button next to "Creative Commons Attribution License (reuse allowed)".

How do I use a Creative Commons video?

  1. Enter the YouTube Video Editor (accessible by clicking your username in the top right corner of any page, selecting My Videos from the drop-down menu, and selecting Video Editor from the options up top.
  2. Click the CC tab located under the YouTube logo.
  3. Either enter the URL of the video you wish to use in the search bar, or enter keywords to search through Creative Commons.
  4. Click the "+" sign in the top right corner of the clip you want to add it to your video for editing.
Screen shot of video editor

Please note: Only videos that have been tagged Creative Commons will display in the search results. Additionally, advertisements may be displayed on videos created using the YouTube Video Editor.

Things you should know

  • The ability to mark uploaded videos with a Creative Commons license is only available to users whose account is in good standing. You may check the status of your account under the Manage Account section of your Account Settings.
  • The Standard YouTube License remains the default setting for all uploads. To review the terms of the Standard YouTube License, please refer to Section 6.C. of our Terms of Service.
  • By marking your original video with a Creative Commons license, you are granting the entire YouTube community the right to reuse and edit that video.
  • Please understand that you may only mark your uploaded video with a Creative Commons license if it consists entirely of content licensable by you under the CC BY license. Some examples of such licensable content are:
    • Your entirely originally created content
    • Other videos marked with a CC BY license
    • Videos in the public domain
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